I couldn’t be more excited to share this exclusive editorial for Lucy’s Magazine, “Cinnamon and Spice“!
Here are the tear sheets:
I’m a big fan of beauty lighting--it’s easy to set up, it makes the highlights pop to the heavens. That being said, I did want to experiment with a few different lighting techniques during my shoot with the wonderful Nick from Mazza models.
Out of the many different lighting setups I chose my favorite to share with you all today!
Before I dive into the lighting setup, I’d like to touch on how I decided on this lighting.
One day when I was browsing through Instagram, I came across this photo on Austin model Mark Rector’s page (@markrec_):
I loved this image because of the subtle ethereal glow from the light that was surrounding Mark. I also loved the dramatic lighting that highlighted the hair and enhanced Mark’s features.
Because I loved the lighting in this image so much, I decided to give my personal twist on it. Since I loved how the light was wrapping around Mark’s figure, I wanted to intensify that in my personal lighting setup.
On top of this, I thought this might be a good lighting for fitness photography. I imagine the lighting to highlight all the muscles on the model’s body, so instead of a turtle neck, I thought it might be cool for the model to have a minimal wardrobe (if any).
I do want to note that I think the photo that sparked my original inspiration was a campaign shoot for American Crew (@americancrew), a male grooming product company. I believe that this is why they chose to go with a turtleneck to avoid distractions within the image.
I placed a medium sized softbox right behind the model to give that ethereal glow. Quite frankly I would have went with a bigger softbox if I could, but I did not have that option. (Because of this I had to stick to a fairly tight frame, limiting me to upper body shots at most.)
If you don’t have a softbox to place right behind the model, I think putting a white/sheer shower curtain behind the model, and then use a big light source (big octobox, softbox, etc) to light the back of the subject would work perfectly as well.
I then placed a 22’ beauty dish with a white diffuser on top at a 45 degree angle to the subject to create a dramatic Rembrandt lighting.
I also want to note that every one of these images are taken from a low angle (even though some of them look as if the camera was at eye level).
Camera: Sony A7R iii
Lens: Sony 18-105mm F4 G OSS
Shutter speed: 160
I loved this shoot so much! Thank you Nick for doing such an amazing job with your hair; thank you Mazza Models for setting up this shoot!
I hope you get a chance to test out this lighting.
Be sure to follow Nick and Mazza Models:
I recently did a collaboration with a few creatives on this beauty shoot that I absolutely LOVE! As this is my first blog post, I’d like to divulge my tips for finding inspiration for beauty shoots.
We live in a time when content is easily accessible via Instagram, Pinterest, Behance, or other social platforms. However, as we are bombarded with so many ideas, it is often hard to stick to a particular concept and commit to a theme.
I am quite guilty of this myself. I find it hard to plan out a shoot that I am 100% committed to the idea. Sure, I can look at a model and immediately think, “she would look incredible with blue eyeliner!” However, within a day or two I find myself looking at a beautiful photo on Instagram and I start to question my initial thoughts.
I do find it easier when I start thinking about the characteristics of the model and pinpoint what exact feature I’d like to showcase.
In this case, the model, Elisha, had a killer jawline and these green eyes that I haven’t seen before. Because of this, I decided on a look that would (1) bring out her gorgeous eye color (2) show off her jawline.
After deciding on that, I pulled up the page of one of my biggest makeup inspirations Anastasia Voevodina.
This particular photo caught my eye (pictured below). I started thinking about how the colors would affect Elisha’s eyes. The dark colors on the top would bring out the brightness in her eyes, and the green would act as a perfect compliment to her forest eyes. However, looking at Elisha’s profile, I fell in love with her eyeliner that she does herself. I wanted an extra flare that reflected the style that I loved in her makeup, but also something different that would make her eyes pop even if the eyeshadow was dark. Boom! That’s when I decided to add on the gold eyeliner.
In terms of hair, I am lucky enough to have a style master for Kevin Murphy, Sarah Lund, to constantly bring inspiration to the shoot, but also execute my thoughts better than I could ever imagine.
Sarah is also the one that reached out to a local jewelry designer in Austin, Nina Berenato, that provided the showstopper jewelry. (If I keep talking about Sarah, this entire post will most likely become a Sarah-appreciation post!)
I told Sarah that I would like the jawline to show, and Sarah first did a lovely braid with pearls to bring some girly flare to the shoot. Afterwards, Sarah pulled back the hair to showcase the incredible ear cuffs by Nina.
If you are a photographer, the biggest tip I could give you from my personal experience of finding inspiration is to find a team that continues to inspire you day after day. In this case, Sarah was definitely the biggest help to me. She found a jewelry designer, she came up with creative hairstyles that did exactly what I wanted, and she elevated the entire shoot. I don’t think I could have done better off or even on the same level if it weren’t for Sarah.
Often times, I find myself in a creative brain fart where I can’t find any direction. Sometimes, I don’t even feel like shooting, but my creative team continues to motivate me.
I can say without doubt that they are what keep pushing me to grow shoot after shoot!
If you are a makeup artist, I find it easier to come up with makeup inspiration when I think about the features of the models and what I’d like to bring out. Elisha often did her own makeup (which all looked insanely beautiful), and I wanted to bring that into the shoot, while enhancing the color of her eyes.